Port Townsend Cycle School Mechanics

We will soon be hosting training in bicycle mechanics. One week courses provide a basic introduction to the machine and its maintenance. Two week courses prepare graduates for a job in bicycle mechanics. Both are designed with insights from eminent current instructors and programs in this field.

Next courses to add will be two and four day suspension, four day e-bike basics,

A defining feature of our school’s approach is an emphasis on design and theory. Mechanics need training in the specifics but also a larger vision of physics and function. To repair bikes is to gain an appreciation for how many things work. We are dedicated to speeding that process with a solid foundation. Such a preparation makes multiple paths more possible for graduates.

We are globally grounded. There is no part of our coursework that is not influenced by the many fine programs around the globe. We are living in a renaissance of cycle education and our school aims to be at the forefront with effective and successful instruction.


Bicycle Mechanics Level 1

Our no-prerequisite introduction to bicycle mechanics prepares each student for maintenance, repair, restoration, and assembly work. Become self sufficient with your own bike and an entry level asset to any service department. The 5 day course covers:

•  Evaluation of rider position
•  Headset design and overhaul
•  Bottom bracket and crank service
•  Chain and derailleur maintenance
•  Drive train setup and tuning
•  Wheel evaluation and repair
•  Tire installation, fixing, and concerns
•  Frame alignment correction
•  Seat and handlebar fitting and issues
•  Mechanical brake (rim, disk) adjustment
•  Basic suspension preparation
•  On the road repairs, event support
•  Introduction to mechanic support networks
•  How this can lead to a career

Learn from two instructors with decades of shop experience, enjoy plenty of hand-on lessons, and have all your questions answered.


Bicycle Mechanics Level 2

Two week, comprehensive course. Dates of first classes tbd. Contact us if interested. 


Wheel Building 1, Introduction to Lacing and Truing

Anyone can build a bicycle wheel. Obstacles are few and mostly self imposed. Learn a mistake-proof method along with important wheel and component theory. Each student will build their own wheel, receiving one-on-guidance. All tools and parts are supplied for this 2 day adventure. Class size is limited to 12.

Pt 1—An historical and technical discussion of bicycles, wheels, and humanity. Compelling reasons to appreciate and master wheelbuilding.

Pt 2—Lace a wheel, proceed from material preparation to wheel assembly. Use your own parts or those we supply. All tools are provided, all questions answered.

Pt 3—The physics and engineering of tensioned wheels. Slides, demonstration, hands on to demystify one of human ingenuity’s highest achievements.

Pt 4—Tension and true the wheel laced yesterday. Monitor tension with tone and gauges, adjust trueness, stress relieve the structure, celebrate success. Wheel repair 101: maintenance, dents, taco’s, spoke breakage, restoring stability.

Dates of first classes tbd. Contact us if interested.

Instructor:  Ric Hjertberg


Wheel Building 2, Attaining Proficiency

Intended for those currently building (prereq of WB 1 or equivalent), to take your skills to the next level. More sophisticated tools, experience, and measurement is necessary to build professionally and profitably. Each will build a wheel and analyze the results. Focus is on process refinement for greater insight, quality, and speed. Class size is limited to 6.

Pt 1—Component theory; how spokes, rims, hubs, and tires are designed. Here are many subtle considerations in component choice and theory.

Pt 2—Lace a wheel using state of the art tools. Learn how to accelerate and better the process.

Pt 3—All about advanced tools available for building: spoke length measurement and calculation, tension data download systems, spoke cutting and threading, assembly compounds, nipple torque measurement.

Pt 4—Finish truing and stress relief. The elements of performance: MOI, stiffness, break rub, catastrophic failure, brake heat issues, feel and handling. Workshop organization and customer relations.

Dates of first classes tbd. Contact us if interested. 

Instructor:  Ric Hjertberg